Crossing Borders Participants

Crossing Borders Participants

Our Crossing Borders with Literature program model promotes deeper understanding across communities, using literature as an opportunity to stimulate dialogue in groups that cross urban and suburban boundaries.  Suburban volunteers, also called participants, join the sessions at partner agencies and participate equally with other group members.   A trained program coordinator, not a Crossing Border participant, facilitates these programs in English or in Spanish, primarily in Mercer County, New Jersey.  Through the reading and discussion, participants discover common threads between urban and suburban individuals, ultimately bridging ethnic, racial, and socio-economic gaps within and between municipalities.

FAQs about Crossing Borders

As a Crossing Borders participant, will I be teaching or leading the group?
No. As a Crossing Border participant, your role is to participate in the reading and discussion of literature alongside the participants at the sites where we hold People & Stories sessions.  A trained coordinator will facilitate the group; he or she will select the stories to be discussed.

What is my purpose as a Crossing Borders participant?
Your purpose is to participate in a literary dialogue with people with whom you probably would not interact, let alone engage in complex discussions about life, choices, pain, and love… all sparked by enduring works of literature.  Our Crossing Borders project brings together people living in the same county, yet often separated by the urban/suburban, ethnic/racial and socio-economic lines which can divide us.  Our hope is that by participating in a Crossing Border program, you may uncover a new way of thinking about our shared humanity.

What do I need to do to sign up for a Crossing Borders program?
Contact our office by phone or email (see below).  Most of our Crossing Borders programs are scheduled from January to May and September to December. Prior to joining a group, you’ll need to be in touch with our Program Manager, Stephanie Hanzel Cohen. She will provide an over-the-phone orientation and discern your Crossing Borders placement after discussing what group(s) you’re interested in joining.

What is People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos looking for in a Crossing Borders participant?
We are looking for open-minded people who can commit to at least four out of eight program sessions.

Read the Crossing Borders Tips for Participation.

Read testimonials from Crossing Borders participants.

Crossing Borders programs are offered throughout the year. If you are interested in participating in a Crossing Borders program, please call our office at (609) 393-1750 or email Stephanie Hanzel Cohen at stephanieh@peopleandstories.org.